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Friday, December 18, 2015

Happy Holidays from the Riddle Team


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Today we just have a very simple message for you. It's not about real estate, interest rates, or how to sell your home for top dollar.

We just want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! No matter how you celebrate during the holidays, we wish you well.


Thank you for all of your business and referrals in 2015, and we promise to make 2016 another great year!

Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tips for Holiday Decorating on a Dime

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The holidays are approaching. Today, we thought we'd do something a little different and share this festive video on holiday decorating tips from HGTV. Designer Angelo Surmelis shares several great ideas to spread holiday cheer throughout the home. Here are some of our favorites.


  1. Pay attention to the mantle. If you don't have some already, buy some kind of garland to drape over the mantle. Next, use leftover ornaments and candles to add light and texture. When choosing ornaments and candles, ensure they are in the same color-palette. This helps make your mantle a great focal point!
  2. Use smaller Christmas trees. Every house has their main Christmas tree. In addition, you can also purchase smaller, inexpensive, eco-friendly trees to place throughout the home. Decorate these trees with strips of fabric from a T-shirt in holiday colors to save money for the main tree.
  3. Use what you have. Be resourceful. Adding a plate charge and place mat to your everyday dining set adds some jazz to your table. Fresh-cut flowers and candles will help finish the look. You don't need grand, expensive candles -- a little candlelight goes a long way!

As you can see, it doesn't take much to make your home feel more festive. If you have any questions, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Is Winter a Good Time to Sell Your Arizona Home?


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Many people ask us whether they should try to sell their home during the holiday season or just wait until spring. Today, we want to share some facts and figures with you to make the decision a whole lot easier.
From December of 2014 to January of 2015, there were over 11,000 homes that closed here in the valley. That number doesn't mean much without the context; if you look at the entire year, from January 2014 to January 2015, you'll see that a total of 81,304 homes sold according to our MLS. Now think about this: since over 11,000 homes sold in December and January, 14% of all closed home sales occurred during the holiday selling season!


What do these numbers mean for you?
Well, if you're ready to sell your home, there really isn't a good reason to wait, seeing that tons of homes sell during the winter months. Last year wasn't an outlier -- for example, of the 89,780 homes that sold between January 2013 and 2014, about 12% of sold homes closed in December in January. It's clear that the market remains active during the holidays, so it's certainly not risky to make your move during that time.
If you have any questions about our active winter market, or if you have real estate questions of any kind, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Avoid New Construction Pitfalls


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Nothing is more exciting than buying a new home. Some people don't realize they're going to buy a new home until they're out on a Sunday afternoon and before they know it, they're putting down a deposit. It is crazy how fast it can happen. However, that is not the smart way to buy a new home. Today, I'll go over three common mistakes for you to avoid when buying new construction.
The number one mistake people make is not hiring a real estate agent. We know a lot about what's going on with the market, and we can help you negotiate with the builder's agent. There are so many points that we are going to bring to your attention that the builder's agent will just skim over. Even though you might really get along with the builder's agent, you need to remember that they are not working for you. Right in the contract, it states that the builder's agent is working for the builder. You deserve to have someone representing your needs.

Another mistake people make is not reading the fine print. You need to know what you're signing. People have lost earnest money because they went in too quickly and signed the contract.
Finally, you've got to know the market. If you don't know what's happening in the market, you could end up overpaying for a home. Keep in mind that things like landscaping and window coverings are not included in the price of the home. Those are expenses you will incur after the fact.
If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I would be happy to help you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Where Can You Find the Best Contractors in Scottsdale?


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If you're thinking of remodeling your home and you don't think you can complete a project on your own, go ahead and hire subcontractors. Don't run the risk of accidentally destroying your home.

Instead, find someone that you know can do a good job for you. Angie's List is a good place to look, or even Craigslist can be helpful.


However, the best place to turn in a case like this would be towards your Realtor. I have a list of great contractors that you can access free of charge. I've worked with a lot of contractors in town, and I know that the ones I can recommend are going to do quality work for a fair price.

I would never recommend anyone to you that I didn't trust. Just shoot me an email and I can get you the list right away.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Are You, or Someone You Know, Looking to Change Careers?



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We have been very fortunate to see our business continue to grow as we head into the last quarter of 2015. Today, instead of answering your questions, we wanted to ask one ourselves. 

If you, or somebody you know, is looking to advance their career in a new and exciting way, we have the perfect opportunity. We are very excited to announce that we are in the process of hiring four new agents, and wanted to check in with you to see if you knew anyone that was interested.

Maybe it’s someone who is already in real estate and looking to advance their career, maybe it’s someone looking to go down a different path and begin their real estate career. Either way, we would love to see if they could be a fit on our team.


On October 26th, we are going to be starting a brand-new 30-day fast start program for our new agents to teach them how to run their own real estate business and their own team. Our team is in the top 1% of over 31,000 agents in the valley that are actively working residential real estate. This doesn’t even include all the other people that have their license as well, which totals about 75,000 people.

Of those people, we are looking for 4 that would like to join our team and learn how to be the best they can, be in the top 1%, and to provide more for their family. If you have any questions, want to apply, or know somebody who does, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why Aren’t Millennials Buying Homes More Frequently?


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One thing we know for certain about the real estate market is that it is never going to stay the same for long. Today we want to talk about an interesting trend we’ve noticed in real estate: millennials are waiting longer to purchase their first homes than their parents did. 
 
The typical first-time buyer now rents for an average of 6 years before buying a home, which is up from 2.6 years in the early 1970’s, according to Zillow.



  
We came across a great video on the topic from CNBC. To save you some time, I will give you my three biggest takeaways from the video.

1. Down payments are a huge factor
Renters in today’s market are struggling to save for down payments and qualify for mortgages. Most first-time buyers still depend on personal savings for at least some of their down payments, but rising rental prices have complicated the task of socking away money for a down payment.

2. Rising rental rates are complicating things as well
 

Rental rates are causing 46% of renters aged 25-354, to spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on rent, up from 40 percent a decade earlier.

3. Job security is important to millennial buyers 

The Money Source, a mortgage lender, examined applications from 5,404 millennial buyers and found that these buyers averaged nearly 4.5 years in their field of work and had held their current job for slightly more than three years. Those figures point to how critical career stability is to a younger generation.

Thanks for joining me today. Talk to you soon!

Real Estate Advice from Ellen Degeneres


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I love The Ellen Show, and watch whenever I’m able to. The other day, I was watching the show and Ellen was talking about how much she loves real estate and how much she enjoys buying and selling homes. She said she knows that people often don’t know what they are getting into when they go to buy a home, so she is here to help.
 
I encourage you to watch the full video above, as I can’t quite capture Ellen’s unique wit and humor in my writing, but I will try. Some agents will do whatever they can to get people to see a home, including providing misinformation about the home. Here are some buzzwords and phrases that Ellen says you should watch out for if you’re looking for a home:
  • Potential: As Ellen puts it, this could mean that the home “has the potential to turn its yellow mold into black mold.”
  • One-of-a-Kind: This is another word to look out for. The reason the home is one-of-a-kind is maybe because the builder is now in jail and can’t build any more homes.
  • Cozy: When an agent uses the word cozy, cozy means tiny, small, and cramped.
  • Seller is Motivated: A nice way of saying: “This home has been on the market a long time, and we’ve lost all hope of selling it.”
  • Classic, Retro, Original: All of these words mean “old.”

If you have any questions for us about what you should be looking for in a home search, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to help out any way we can.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How to Organize Your Home Before a Showing


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Buying a Greater Phoenix Home? Search all homes for sale 

I recently found a good video on HGTV that I thought would be helpful to you if you're preparing to sell your home. It's essential that when you show your home to buyers, it's clean, organized, and decluttered. You'll want to empty out your closets, or at the very least, get them organized.

One thing you can do to get organized is put up shoe hangers in your doors, and store everyday items inside them such as cleaning supplies, utensils, or anything else that you can fit in them.

Another way to cut down on clutter is to use labels, or pick up storage bins to keep items like cords or wires in.

A tip for organizing your closet is to divide your clothes into four different sections: hang, sell, donate, keep, and fold. Once you have something marked out for every category, you can then organize your closet in any way you see fit. Here's an extra tip: you can use belt hangers to hang your necklaces and other jewelry.

I just thought this video would be useful for organizing your home, whether you're selling or if you just want to tidy up a bit.

If you need any assistance with staging, decluttering, or selling, please don't hesitate to contact me!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What Simple, Inexpensive Updates Can You Make on Your Home?

 
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Buying a Greater Phoenix Home? Search all homes for sale 

If you are looking to sell your home, your goal is to get the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. One of the best ways to add value and appeal to your home is through home staging. You have a lot of options for how you want to go about it. You could hire a professional staging company, but that comes with a hefty price tag. Most of the time, a few simple fixes is all it takes to transform a living room. 

Today we are going to go through some of our most favorite, inexpensive home staging tips or you. We hope these will help you save both time and money when it comes time to sell your home.

A fresh coat of paint is always a good idea. Neutral, warm colors work best for highlighting the natural light in your home. This will make it easier to punch up the room with some colorful accessories and pull everything together.

A common design problem facing many homeowners is that they have no real entry way, as their front door opens up to the living room. To fix this, you can add a table, some lighting, and a rug to "fake a foyer" and make it feel like the living room and entryway are two different spaces.

A patterned rug, some pillows, or bright curtains add a ton of texture and an eclectic layer to the space, which is essential to a well-designed room.

In some cases, a "make-under" is just what you need. In the case of most fireplaces, taking some accessories and clutter away enhances the look and feel of the room greatly.


You could spend well over a few thousand dollars with a staging company, or you could do these fixes yourself for around $500. That's a small investment considering the value that you add to your home by adding those pieces.

If you have any questions for us about staging your home or anything else real estate related, give us a call or send over a quick email. We are always here to help, and would love to hear from you!

Monday, July 6, 2015

What Can You Expect from the Arizona Market?

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Recently, we were asked whether the current Scottsdale market is in favor of buyers or sellers. Today, we share a quick market update so you know what to expect when buying or selling in our area.

To determine who the market favors, you need to take a look at supply and demand. Right now, we have about a 3-month supply of inventory across the valley. With inventory as low as it is, it looks like prices are going to start increasing. Properties under $350K are going pretty darn fast if they are move-in ready!


Prices are just beginning to rise and interest rates are still very low. Now is the time to make your move if you're ready; you can get a new home before prices jump too high and while interest rates are very low. Since it's unlikely these conditions will continue, there's no reason to wait! 

If you're interested in taking advantage of these great conditions, or if you need real estate assistance of any kind, give us a call or shoot us a quick email. We would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What's the Deal with Contingent Offers?


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Today we are back, answering another one of your great questions. This one comes from Jessica. She wants to know:

"Kodi, I was wondering if I can make an offer on a home that is contingent upon my home closing?"

The answer is of course you can- you can really make an offer that is contingent upon anything. The trick is getting the seller to accept it. 

Here's the scoop: Your current home has to already be in escrow and, ideally, you would be through the inspection period before you write a contingent offer. If we set ourselves up for success by having your home in escrow, we've got a lot of leverage to help you purchase your next home. 

Now, what if you are a seller? If you receive a contingent offer without your home being on the market, it would be crazy of you to accept it. No matter the purchase price, you will lose quality marketing time while they are getting their home ready for the market. It doesn't serve you well as a seller or a buyer to make or accept contingent offers on homes that aren't even in escrow yet. 

If you have any questions for us, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We would love to answer your questions in our next video!

Monday, April 27, 2015

What Is Pre-Possesion?


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 Buying a Greater Phoenix Home? Search all homes for sale 

Hey there, thanks for joining me again. Today I wanted to answer a recent question I got from a few clients of mine, Bill and Jennifer. They wanted to know:

"Hey Kodi, Jennifer and I were wondering if we can move our belongings into the house, or at least the garage, before closing?"


This is called pre-possession. It's where you have tentatively purchased the home and are moved in, but the sale hasn't closed yet. You will hear agents often say that it's a bad idea, but very rarely does anything bad happen. There are even pre-possession and post-possession agreements you can sign to keep everything in check.

The bottom line is, pre-possession agreements help buyers and sellers have a little less stress in their move, and it goes a long way in smoothing out the transaction. So, to answer your question, yes you can move in before the home closes.

However, you need to make sure it is ok with the sellers first, or work on having them sign a pre-possession agreement. They keep liability in check and allow you to have a less stressful move.

If you have any questions about pre-possession or anything else real estate related, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to speaking with you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What Does "Buyer Beware" Mean For You?


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Phoenix Real Estate AgentToday I am going to talk about 2 words that we hear often in the real estate industry: Buyer Beware. Beware of what? A dog? A busy street? Bad Neighbors?

Buyer Beware can mean any number of things to you, but the heart of the words' message is that it's up to you to do your due diligence before purchasing a home. You need to be able to identify and diagnose problems with a home before you make an offer, so you can have the home move-in ready when you are.

Hiring the right real estate agent can really help smooth out the process and make it easier. When you hire the right agent, you want to hire someone with a lot of deals under their belt. Someone who has experience and can guide you through the process is invaluable and will save you mountains of stress and worry.

In the end though, it's up to you: the buyer. If you have a gut feeling about something that's wrong with the home or any questions at all, tell your agent. They will get the answers and leave the worry out for you. When you express your feelings and concerns to a professional agent, they will be able to take care of everything for you.

If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call or send me a quick email. I would be glad to help any way I can!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Did You Know This Iconic House Is Up For Sale?


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I have some late-breaking news for you today about a special piece of real estate. I'm not sure if you have heard yet, but the house from the Windows 95 Maze Screensaver is now up for sale, and I wanted you to hear it from me. 

The news was first reported by ClickHole, and from the looks of things, this 12,000 square foot property will go quick. It doesn't have a great spacial concept, but there is plenty of room for dozens of bedrooms, kitchens, studies, and whatever else you can think of. 

Everything from the screensaver is included in the home, that includes the beautiful brick walls, and the original limestone floor moldings are still there and in perfect condition. 

The seller really wants to get this home off their hands, and you could be the first to make an offer. If you have any questions about this property, feel free to give me a call or send me an email anytime. I would love to get you into this huge, beautiful space!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Should You Be Getting More Money for Your Phoenix Home?


There are many great Phoenix homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call me at (480) 580-0171 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Today I am here to give you 5 great tips on what to do if you are thinking about putting your home on the market. These tips will help protect your interests and get you the most amount of money possible for your home.  Without further ado, here they are:

1. Become a real seller
When you decide to sell your home, you have to detach yourself emotionally from the property. It's no longer a home filled with memories and nostalgia, but an asset in a business transaction that you are trying to sell. Those memories will always be with you, but letting go of your home emotionally is the step you need to take.

2. Depersonalize your home
Removing photos, family heirlooms, and memorabilia is important in creating a neutral feel in your home. You want buyers to picture themselves living in your home, and making your house look like a show-home will help them do just that.

3. First impressions make lasting impressions
This is why your home's curb appeal is so important. Refinish that front door, get your lawn done professionally, and make sure the outside of your home looks just as good as the inside.

4. Be ready to show your home at any time
When selling, you've got to be able to be flexible when it comes to showing your home. Yes, it's a pain and a hassle, but if you really want to sell, you want to make sure you do everything in your power to accommodate potential buyers.

5. Find the right agent
In my opinion, this is the most important step. If you are watching this video, you have already found the right agent. However, you want to make sure you do your due diligence in researching your best choice. I believe that the answers to 2 questions will tell you all you need to know about an agent. The questions are, "What is my home's true value?" and "How much are you going to spend on marketing for my home?" You want somebody who is able to give you that true value without being dishonest, and somebody who takes marketing seriously and knows how important it is in selling your home. 


There you have it, our 5 best home selling tips. If there is anything else I can do for you, be sure to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to talking to you soon!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year from Kodi Riddle


There are many great Phoenix homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call me at (480) 580-0171 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Phoenix Real Estate Agent
 My husband and I want to take this time to make sure we wish you and your family a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015. We have a special holiday gift for all of you, but first, we want to take a moment to introduce you to 2 brand new members of our team.

Stacy Calvert and Hunter Johnson are our 2 new buyer specialists, who were hand-selected by me after interviewing over 15 agents for the positions. As a team, the 4 of us are excited to serve you and your real estate needs!

As a New Year's gift from us to you, we would like to offer you a free golf lesson with Marcus Blake. He runs his own website, PositiveSideofGolf.com. Marcus is a great coach and teacher, and can really help fix the problems you have with your game. Whether you can't stop slicing your shots left or if you can't make a putt to save your life, Marcus has got you covered, and he guarantees to cut your handicap in half! Visit his site, give him a call, and let him know you know us, and he will get that lesson set up for you.

If you or anybody you know has any real estate questions or needs, make sure to have them give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon!